For Immediate Release
Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116; cell 202-641-1906
NOW Vows to Press Forward After Fairness Defeated in Maine, Hopes for Victory in Washington State
WASHINGTON - The National Organization for Women is extremely saddened by the
rejection of fairness for same-sex couples in Maine, but hopeful for a
victory in Washington state.
Last May, Maine ended marriage discrimination for same-sex couples
by allowing them to marry. Last night, voters rejected that decision by
taking away that right.
"This defeat is a painful setback for loving same-sex couples and
their families in Maine, but the fight is not over," says NOW President
Terry O'Neill. "NOW activists will continue the struggle to eliminate
discrimination and realize the promise of equality and fairness."
In Washington state, Referendum 71 would uphold important legal
protections for state-registered domestic partners. The votes have not
all been counted, but the results so far indicate that Washingtonians
came together to support lesbian and gay families.
Referendum 71 would enable lesbians and gays to cover their partners
with health insurance, take unpaid leave to care for them, or provide
death benefits for their children -- protections that heterosexual
couples take for granted.
Although the legislation in Washington stops short of providing
marriage equality, if upheld by the voters it would be an important
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The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.